Monthly Archives: November 2011

Hammered? No, But Boro Still Fell Short

BORO were given a sobering lesson in exactly the type of robust and functional football that gets teams promoted from the Championship.
West Ham eased to the clinically efficient routine 2-0 away win that will get them promoted this term without ever being obviously light years ahead of a laboured Boro who weren’t firing on the night. And this is a division where if you not firing you get shot down..
West Ham weren’t world beaters, they weren’t great entertainers, they didn’t bamboozle with finesse, artistry or panache. They were a no great shakes, indeed, at times they looked average. But they were too good for us.

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Don’t Boss Them, Batter Them

THAT’S another two points thrown away. Eight draws now. All from winning – or winnable – positions. If just two of those positions had been pushed home we would be sitting pretty now ratherthan looking over our shoulders.
At Peterbrough Boro were so much on top for an hour it was embarrassing. They didn’t create a dozen clear cut chances like they did against Blackpool, in fact the Posh keeper barely had a save to make. But they bossed it completely.
Boro were on top tactically from the offf. Their shape bamboozled Peterborough and there was so much space going forward and so many bodies that it was easy to pick their way to edge of the box with passes. Meanwhile Boro were closing quickly, getting tackles in and hustling their opponents. Time after time two or three Boro men were mugging their oppenents and stealing the loose ball to spark another attack. It was great.

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Design Guru’s Boro Art And Soul

A BORO barmy designer with a quirky take on football cult heroes has gone viral.
Steve Welsh’s vivid graphics paying playful homage to the game’s legends have become an internet phenomenon. After an explosive spread through the Twittersphere in a busy three months of fast and furious late night lay-out, the in-demand designer is now seen as one of the leading lights of football illustration.
He is getting tweets from the international stars who are the subject of his idiosyncratic graphic riffs on their nicknames and terrace legends asking for the original artwork and he is fielding a flurry of requests from glossy sports magazines and leading football websites to illustrate their latest offerings.
A depiction of Ayresome Park inspired by the original architectural drawings and incorporating the names of Boro greats is to take pride of place in a new exhibition at the new National Football Museum in Manchester. And he is set to link up with one of Holland’s top leisurewear retailers with a view to launching a series of t-shirts honouring Dutch football giants.
But, says Steve, the spectacular success is more by accident than design.

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Pier Pressure On A Riverside Rollercoaster

A FANTASTIC game. Yes, it was a frustrating finish as Boro once again withered under persistent pier pressure and, yes, it is incredible that the team could be pegged back after creating such a bewildering array of gilt-edged chances. We should have been out of sight by half-time.
And yes, it is a nagging fear that, unbeaten at home or not, we have squandered another golden chance to close on the disappearing top two and the draws have thrown us into the play-off pack and may yet prove costly.
But what a pulsating end-to-end encounter between two sides that set out to attack. Boro carved out a string of excellent chances with some enterprising football and but for a superb show from keeper Matt Gilks would have scored a shedload. He made a superb second half double save from McDonald and Emnes and some other good blocks. Plus Big Mick powered a header against the post, Bates had another header blocked and Robson did an archetypal “blazed over” masterclass. Blackpool were sharp too.
It is a shame that wasn’t the thrill-a-minute advertising display Boro opted to give for the cameras and the armchair agnostics rather than the turdig Watford win.

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Boro To Bounce Back With A Bang?

BORED. What a long two weeks with nothing but the health of the Rolls Rhys to worry about. I can’t wait to get back down to business.
The next batch of six games – Donkeybothering Blackpool (H), stopwatch Jnr’s Peterborough (A), would-be Olympic squatters West ‘Aam (H), troubled Bristol C (A), fading early pace-setters Brighton (H) and our one time Nemesis Cardiff (A) – will take us up to Christmas and could decide whether we are serious promotion contenders or if we will be flapping around clinging on to play-off possibilities.
Where we stand then may also determine the landscape as the transfer window creaks open. Well placed and we will have a compelling case to fend off interest from well wadded top flight poachers and hold onto our “most wanted.” It may also strengthen Mogga’s hand when asking for cash to beef up the squad. If we have faded away then the pressure will be on to cash in on the likes of Williams and Bates and start rebuilding now ready for next year. It is a very important phase in Mowbray’s Boro project. But then, we seem to say that every other week

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We Won. Who Needs Fireworks?

A SCRAPPY game settled by an offside goal. Some untidy and tense scrambles to clear a barrage of set-plays into the box – “Watford… more corners than a Rubic’s Cube” as someone said on the #borolive twitter coverage – and the main highlight of the game was a half-cock evacuation of the West Stand after an aborted fire alarm. I’ll take that.
It was a poor game but you’ve seen worse. Much worse. You’ve seen better and we lost. Boro laboured to a spawny win against a struggling side that dominated for long spells on a night that was short of quality. Sky cameras were there, what did you expect? And frankly, I don’t care that it was poor fare for an armchair army of small screen sceptics.
Boro got the win. Scott McDonald got a much needed goal, his first in 11 games since the 3-1 win at Barnsley in August. It was the second win in five days. It was the second successive home win. Boro are unbeaten at the Riverside and its November. We are three points clear in third place with a third of the season gone. Who needs fireworks?

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Poignant Pressure, Perspective and Professionalism

FOCUSSED and efficient, Boro withstood considerable emotional pressure to battle past a highly motivated Doncaster and win 3-1 on a difficult night at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Rovers were fired up and driven by the touching personal plight of striker Billy Sharp and in a difficult and charged atmosphere Boro did well to come from behind and claim the points.

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